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How to Convert your Van into a Campervan

How to Convert your Van into a Campervan

The popularity of campervans has been rising. There are many reasons this is happening. Some could say it involves people’s desire to travel. Others might point to remote working, which is freeing people up to travel more. Whatever the reason, more people are into campervans.

People who don’t want to do the work just buy a campervan that’s already done for them. It contains all the bells and whistles one might want. This is certainly an option, but it’s an expensive one that doesn’t give you much control.

There’s another type of person out there. This person is willing to work and build his or her campervan. The only thing left is figuring out how to do this, which is why you’re here.

Setting the Budget

One thing you have to consider is your budget. No one likes to think about this, but figuring out your budget early on will help you plan your campervan conversion more effectively.

You should know that even the cheapest conversions can cost you a few thousand dollars, so don’t go into this thinking it’s going to be a few dollars. Still, what you’ll end up paying will be much less than what you would pay if you purchase a ready-made campervan.

The good thing is your investment will increase the value of your van if you ever decide to sell. A campervan solves many issues like where you’ll stay when you’re camping, or it could save you money if you used it as a place to sleep instead of booking a hotel room.

Figuring Out What the Campervan Needs

Part of what makes converting your van into a campervan so great is that you get to put the things you want in it. To get this right, you’re going to have to make a plan.

Some of the basics include a bed, lights at night, cooking facilities, an eating area, a restroom, and you need to figure out how you’re going to wash up. Today’s way of living also requires that you have a pretty good electrical system so that you can charge up your smartphone or use your laptop when you take a break.

Sure, you could use your car battery to do all this, but you’ll drain it overtime. What you’re going to have to do is install a 240-volt electrical hookup. You could even install a few solar panels to create some free energy.

Ventilation and Lights

The next thing to consider is your ventilation. This is usually one of the first things you need to do to your van. Depending on the layout, you need to install a few windows throughout your van.

Fresh air is important, especially if you’re going to be cooking. Some vans come with enough windows but not all of them. Even if you’ve already got enough windows, it might be a good idea to install a couple of skylights.

These replace a regular lightbulb with light coming from the sun to light up your van’s interior. Windows not only create a fresh feeling inside. They also help remove water vapors and improve your indoor air quality. If you’re going to be installing a bathroom, you’ll be happy you can open a few windows.

Addressing the Electricity and the Gas

The next thing you have to figure out is your electricity and gas. Professionals should complete these tasks unless you have the experience. Making a mistake with these could put your life in danger, and that’s not something you want.

You want to talk to professionals who have experience installing this is in a van. This could be one of the priciest tasks you’ll have to do.

This will help you cook and get hot water in your campervan. Since this is going to be kind of pricey, be sure to plan for the expense. Try to talk to a few professionals until you get a reasonable price.

Insulation is a Biggie

Insulation is a big deal, and it’s something you have to do early on. Properly insulating your van could keep you safe from colder temperatures.

The more you insulate your van, the easier it’ll be to keep out unwanted sounds. Insulating can contain the sounds inside your van as well.

There are a lot of materials you can use to insulate your van, so choose the one you think will work for you. One of the most natural options out there is wool, but there are many more like spray foam or cellulose.

Fresh and Waste Water Storage

You’re going to produce a lot of water in your camper van. That water is going to be wastewater, and it has to be stored properly. Most folks just install a few pipes that lead to an external tank where wastewater deposits.

You should be able to get rid of that water in an appropriate place. To pump good, clean water throughout your van, you’ll need a good pump to get water into your sink or shower.

Getting it Registered

The van needs to be registered as a campervan once you’re done with all your modifications. Reclassification is important, and it’s something you have to do as soon as possible.

The last thing you want to deal with is a legal problem as you travel throughout the United States or in the parks where you might be camping. You might have to deal with warnings and even citations. It’s better to be safe, so just have the vehicle registered as it’s supposed to be.

Now, you’ve got a plan to convert your van to a campervan. This is going to take some time to accomplish, so make sure you give yourself enough time to get it done if you want to get things right.


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